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What is Phatic

Handbook of Research on Virtual Workplaces and the New Nature of Business Practices
Oral and typed language such as “hmmm,” “uh huh,” “thinking,” and “k” (for “okay”) that provides backchannel cues to help speakers convey that they are present and participating in the conversation.
Published in Chapter:
Instant Messaging (IM) Literacy in the Workplace
Beth L. Hewett (Independent Scholar, USA) and Russell J. Hewett (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-893-2.ch032
This chapter discusses instant messaging (IM) as a valuable digital tool that has influenced business communication practices at least as much as e-mail. It argues that IM’s characteristics of presence awareness, synchronicity, hybridity, and interactivity create a unique set of writing and reading experiences. These functional qualities both require and hone high-level writing and reading skills, which are used powerfully in communicative multitasking. The authors believe that IM should be sanctioned in the workplace and that IM use should be a subject of focused training; to that end, they provide a practical, literacy-based training sequence that can be adapted to various settings.
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